SEO for Car Dealers: 8 Easy Tips to Increase Online Leads

Maximize sales potential and website visibility with SEO for car dealers. Enhance online presence, attract more leads, and secure sales.

Written by
Oskar Mortensen
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May 15, 2024

When potential car buyers search for dealerships, they tend to contact the top options they find on search engines like Google or Bing.

To ensure your dealership doesn’t miss out on potential customers, implementing SEO is vital.

This article provides easy steps for you to optimize your online presence yourself.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and rankings on search engine results pages.

For car dealers, SEO means optimizing their online presence to attract potential customers and secure more leads for their dealership.

Top 3 Key SEO Benefits for Car Dealers

SEO helps you rank at the top of Google:

  1. More Website Traffic: SEO improves rankings and drives targeted traffic to car dealers' websites.
  2. Increased Leads: SEO attracts more potential customers, resulting in more inquiries and sales.
  3. Cost-Effective Alternative: SEO provides a cheaper marketing solution than most other advertising methods.
By simply filling out their Google Business profile, Grace Auto Group has managed to rank #1 locally.

Top Keywords Potential Car Dealer Clients Use

Commonly used keywords when customers search for car dealers on Google:

Tools For Small Businesses Table


Keyword Example

Search Intent


Car dealer in [local city]

Searching for a local car dealership


Best [local city] car dealerships

Looking for top-rated car dealers in a local area


Car financing options [local city]

Exploring financing options for car purchases


Used car dealerships in [local city]

Finding dealers that offer pre-owned vehicles


Car dealer reviews [local city]

Checking reviews for local car dealerships


New car deals [local city]

Looking for new car promotions and deals


Certified pre-owned cars [local city]

Searching for certified used vehicles


Trade-in value [local city]

Finding trade-in value for existing vehicles


Car leasing options [local city]

Exploring leasing options available at local dealers


Electric car dealerships [local city]

Looking for dealers specializing in electric vehicles

Unlock the potential of local keywords to engage with your community. Explore our guide for strategies on selecting the ideal terms to draw in local clientele, and deepen your understanding with our Local SEO for Small Business insights.

8 Easy SEO Tips to Get More Online Leads

Discover how to boost your online presence and attract more potential car buyers with these straightforward SEO techniques:

1) Claim Your Free Google Business Profile

Setting up your Google Business Profile will make it easier for local customers needing automotive services to find your dealership on Google Maps and search results.

Enter your business name into the Google Business Profile Manager to claim your Google Business Profile.

Complete your profile by:

  • Select your business category (e.g., car dealer)
  • Set your service area
  • Add contact information, working hours, and services offered
  • Include captivating images of your inventory and dealership
Why NAP Matters for Car DealersNAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency is essential for car dealers as it establishes credibility, improves local search visibility, and enhances the user experience. It ensures potential clients can easily find and contact your business while boosting local SEO efforts. Read: Top 9 NAP Consistency SEO Tips

Use Keywords in Your Profile

In your Google Business Profile, emphasize top keywords such as "car dealer" along with your city to improve local search visibility. For instance, "Car Dealer in [Your City]" can help you rank higher when local customers search for car dealerships. Including specific terms related to your services ensures you're easily found by those looking for exactly what you offer.

Pro tip: Get your free listing on Bing Places for Business to show up on Bing searches and maps.

2) Discover Customer Keywords

Valuable keywords are crucial for attracting the right audience. For instance, as a car dealer, you'd want to optimize for keywords like "best car dealer in [city]" and "affordable new cars in [city]."

By targeting these keywords, you can drive relevant traffic to your website and connect with potential clients searching for automotive services in your area.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Create a free account on SEO.AI
  2. Once logged in, navigate to “Keyword research”
  3. Describe your target audience and goal
  4. Get valuable keyword suggestions

Continuing with these steps will ensure you take full advantage of SEO to increase your online leads and overall dealership visibility. Ensure to revisit and optimize your strategies to stay current with changes in search engine algorithms and consumer behavior.

3) Create Service Pages and Blog Content

Content creation involves producing valuable materials like service pages and blog posts to improve search engine rankings.

Here are two types of content pages that will help you rank:

A) Service Pages

A service page keyword could be "car leasing options in [your city]," aiming to rank higher in search results when people search for car leasing deals in your city.

Here are the basic must-have service pages:

  1. Home Page - Your digital showroom, welcoming visitors with a captivating blend of your latest inventory, customer testimonials, and a clear, inviting call to action.Title Example: "Reliable and Affordable Cars in Austin - DriveSmart Auto"
  2. Inventory Page - A curated gallery showcasing your available vehicles, allowing potential buyers to explore and compare different models and features.Title Example: "Explore Our Inventory – DriveSmart Auto’s Latest Cars"
  3. About Page - A personal touchpoint, sharing your dealership's history, core values, and what sets you apart from other car dealers.Title Example: "Get to Know Us – About DriveSmart Auto"
  4. Finance & Services Page - A transparent overview of your financing options, service packages, and the benefits of choosing your dealership.Title Example: "Flexible Car Financing & Comprehensive Services – DriveSmart Auto"
  5. Contact Page - An easy-to-navigate page with multiple contact options, encouraging potential buyers to reach out and start the discussion about their car needs.Title Example: "Reach Out Today – Contact DriveSmart Auto"

B) Blog Posts

A keyword for a blog post could be "tips for buying a new car in [your city]," targeting individuals looking for advice on purchasing vehicles in your area.

Here are some blog post title ideas that will cover the most important keywords in your area:

  1. "Find Your Ideal Car Dealer in [Local City]"
  2. "Discover the Best Car Deals in [Local City]"
  3. "Unveiling the Latest Car Models in [Local City]"
  4. "Top Tips for Test Driving Cars in [Local City]"
  5. "Trusted Car Dealership Reviews [Local City]"
  6. "How to Finance Your First Car in [Local City]"
  7. "Your Guide to Leasing Cars in [Local City]"
  8. "Expert Car Buying Tips [Local City]"
  9. "Choosing Reliable Used Cars in [Local City]"
  10. "Classic Car Deals and Finds in [Local City]"

Pro tip: Use SEO.AI to let our AI draft complete blog posts for you. It's simple, and your first two AI-generated blog posts are free. You can sign up for a free trial here.

4) Optimize Your Website Content

To truly captivate potential clients and enhance your online presence, it's essential to go beyond mere text optimization. Your website's design, navigation, and particularly your image galleries should be meticulously crafted to provide a seamless and engaging user experience. High-quality images, fast loading times, and intuitive layouts all contribute to a user-friendly environment that not only retains visitors but also encourages them to explore your inventory.

By optimizing every facet of your website, from the written content to the visual appeal and performance of your galleries, you'll create a compelling online showcase that draws in more potential car buyers and improves lead conversion.

Here are five basic steps that will help your car dealership site stand out:

  1. Use Descriptive, Keyword-Rich Image File Names: Instead of naming your image files generically like "IMG_001.jpg," use descriptive, keyword-rich file names that reflect the content of the image and include your target keyword. For example, "2023-toyota-camry-sedan.jpg" helps search engines understand the image content and improves your SEO.
  2. Incorporate Alt Text with Keywords: Always add alt text to your images. This not only aids visually impaired users but also helps search engines index your images properly. For instance, alt text for a car photo could be "2023 red Toyota Camry in Los Angeles dealership."
  3. Optimize Your Image File Sizes: Large images can slow down your website, negatively affecting user experience and SEO. Use tools like Adobe Photoshop or online compressors to reduce file sizes without compromising quality. For example, compress a high-resolution photo of a car model from 5MB to under 500KB.
  4. Showcase Your Dealership with Authentic Photos: Use authentic images across all service pages and blog posts to establish credibility and showcase your dealership. For example, display genuine photos of your showroom, sales team, and actual car inventory to provide a transparent and trustworthy first impression.
  5. Benchmark Content Against the Competition: Utilize tools like SEO.AI to ensure your content aligns with user intent and meets Google's E-E-A-T standards, and to stay ahead of local competitors. For instance, use the tool to analyze the top-ranking car dealerships in your area, and use insights to refine your content strategy, focusing on originality, authority, and relevance.

5) Build Authority with Link Building

Google recognizes quality backlinks as endorsements of trustworthy and authoritative content, refining the accuracy and relevance of its search results. Elevate your car dealership's SEO by obtaining these trusted backlinks.

"A backlink is a hyperlink from one website to another, serving as a vote of confidence and authority that can improve a site's SEO."

Here's your roadmap to effective link building:

  • Online Directory Listings: Ensure your business profile is present and accurate on leading directories like Google, Yelp, Bing Places, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Remember, relevance is key; look for automotive-specific directories or local business hubs.
  • Forge Local Partnerships: Collaborate with local auto repair shops, car wash centers, and related vendors. Mutual promotions or partnerships can yield valuable backlinks from their websites.
  • Guest Blogging: Offer your expertise on local automotive sites. Crafting insightful guest posts not only positions you as an industry authority but also garners backlinks.
  • Harness the Power of Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave testimonials or reviews. Genuine feedback builds your credibility and can be linked back from other platforms.
  • Engage in Local Community Events: Sponsor or participate in local car shows or community events. Such involvement often leads to mentions and backlinks from event organizers or local media.

Pro tip: To dive deeper, tools like WhiteSpark or BrightLocal can provide insights into niche-specific or local directories where your business should be listed. Remember, visibility is the first step to conversion.

6) Prioritize Technical SEO

For a car dealership, technical SEO involves optimizing website speed to ensure quick loading times, improving crawlability by creating a sitemap, and implementing schema markup to enhance how search engines display relevant information in search results.

Here are some of the important technical aspects of an SEO-friendly website:

  1. Fast loading speed
  2. Mobile optimization
  3. Secure website (HTTPS)
  4. Clean URL structure
  5. XML sitemap
  6. Proper use of robots.txt
  7. Structured data (schema markup)
  8. Error-free navigation (404 pages)
  9. Canonical tags
  10. Optimized images

Pro tip: Don't worry if technical SEO seems overwhelming. Consider hiring an expert web developer or SEO consultant who can handle the technical optimization of your website, allowing you to focus on your car dealership business.

7) Gain a Competitive Edge with SEO Tools

Here are the best SEO tools for your car dealership business:

Tool 1: Google My Business

For car dealers aiming to reach local customers, a Google My Business profile is crucial.

It elevates your visibility in local searches and on Google Maps, making it easier for potential buyers to find and reach your dealership. Actively maintaining your profile can lead to better local search rankings and more inquiries from interested customers.

Google My Business features:

  • Direct engagement with customers is streamlined.
  • Local search and map visibility is enhanced.
  • Business information is easily managed and updated.

Tool 2: SEO.AI

If you're a car dealer looking to boost your online presence, SEO.AI can help by optimizing your website content, from vehicle listings to blog posts, using advanced but easy-to-use AI tools.

SEO.AI features:

  • AI-driven discovery of keyword opportunities
  • One-click creation of detailed +2,000 word articles
  • AI chat assistant for real-time optimization assistance
  • Meta tag scoring and optimization for better SERP performance
  • Benchmarking against ideal content length for engagement
  • Automated internal linking to strengthen site structure

Tool 3: Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a complimentary service that provides insights into the keywords leading to your site on Google, along with your ranking for those terms. It also monitors your site's technical health and flags any issues.

Google Search Console features:

  • Identify and fix site errors.
  • Gain insights on clicks, impressions, and your position in Google search results.
  • Get recommendations for making your site more user-friendly.

Tool 4: AI Keyword Research Tool

The AI Keyword Research Tool, part of the SEO.AI suite, offers an innovative way to perform keyword research. Describe your content, and the tool harnesses AI to uncover key phrases that can sharpen your SEO approach.

Harnessing AI for keyword discovery revolutionizes SEO and content planning. The tool's advanced algorithms swiftly sift through data, revealing trends and valuable insights, which is particularly beneficial for identifying niche long-tail keywords that are highly relevant to your target audience and less competitive.

Features of the AI Keyword Research Tool:

  • No login required for immediate access
  • AI-driven identification of optimal keywords tailored to your content
  • Free access to all users

Tool 5: Keyword Intent Checker

The Keyword Intent Checker is a powerful tool that unravels the intent behind search terms, a concept known as "search intent."

Grasping search intent is pivotal for SEO success, influencing the development of content that aligns with potential customers' needs and boosts search engine rankings.

This tool, accessible within the SEO.AI free suite, classifies keywords by user intent, enhancing content relevance.

Features of the Keyword Intent Checker:

  • Categorizes keywords by user intent for targeted content creation
  • Available for free as part of the SEO.AI suite
  • Simple to use with immediate access at no cost

Tool 6: AI Topic Cluster Tool

The AI Topic Cluster Tool, found in the SEO.AI collection, utilizes artificial intelligence to craft topic clusters from a central keyword, taking into account the search intent.

Topic clusters can enhance SEO by organizing content in a way that search engines easily understand, potentially leading to higher search rankings. This method improves site navigation for users and establishes your expertise in the car dealership field.

Features of the AI Topic Cluster Tool:

  • Provides AI-generated topic clusters for comprehensive content planning
  • Visualizes topics with tables and mind maps for easy understanding
  • Free to use, offering a straightforward and efficient user experience

Tool 7: Broken Link Checker

SEO.AI's Broken Link Checker, in our extensive catalog of free SEO tools, is an invaluable resource for identifying and fixing broken backlinks on your website. It simulates how search engines crawl your site, ensuring every link leads to an active page.

Features of the Broken Link Checker:

  • Scans for and identifies broken backlinks on your domain
  • Offers a straightforward, easy-to-navigate interface
  • Free to use, enhancing your site maintenance without added cost

Here you'll find the top 25 best SEO tools for small businesses.

8) Get Professional SEO Help

SEO is an ever-evolving field, and mastering it requires a blend of technical know-how and a knack for compelling content.

If SEO isn't your strength, hire a local SEO expert to refine your car dealership website. They'll optimize the technical details and craft a content strategy to attract clients and improve your search rankings.

Here are some quick questions you can ask to evaluate potential SEO professionals:

  • What quick wins can you achieve for my car dealership website?
  • How do you link SEO to sales, not just traffic?
  • What's your plan if my site rankings suddenly drop?
  • Can you show me a recent client's results?
  • What do you need from me to get started?

It's important to remember that SEO is about more than just climbing search engine rankings; it's about making meaningful connections with your audience and converting them into clients. The right SEO professional will offer a clear strategy for not only increasing your online visibility but also for leveraging that visibility to drive business growth.

FAQs on SEO for Car Dealers

Here are some quick answers to common SEO questions for car dealers:

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of enhancing your website to improve its visibility on search engines. This is crucial for attracting more potential customers to your car dealership business.

Why is SEO important for car dealers?

SEO ensures that when potential buyers search for car dealerships or specific car models, your business appears prominently in the search results, driving more traffic and increasing the likelihood of sales.

Can I do SEO myself?

Yes, by following the tips in this article, you can start by optimizing your Google Business Profile, conducting keyword research, creating and optimizing content, enhancing the user experience, and building backlinks. Staying consistent and up-to-date with the latest SEO trends is key.

If SEO isn't your strength, hiring a professional can boost your ranking, save time, and increase online leads more effectively than managing SEO yourself.

How do keywords play a role in SEO for car dealers?

Keywords such as "best car dealer in [city]" or "affordable used cars in [city]" help connect your dealership with clients actively searching for car services or specific vehicle models in your area. Identifying valuable keywords that potential customers actually use on Google is at the core of your SEO strategy.

How can I improve my local SEO?

Start with a free Google Business Profile. Complete your profile with details like business category, service area, working hours, and showcase images of your inventory. Also, ensure NAP consistency (Name, Address, Phone number) for credibility and better local search visibility.

Do I need more content on my car dealership website?

Yes, more content is likely essential for your site. Creating helpful content that potential customers are searching for is one of the best marketing investments. Service pages and blogs can target specific queries, significantly improving your visibility and ranking when people look for car dealerships or specific car-related information.

How can link building benefit my car dealership business?

Link building can greatly benefit your car dealership business by creating digital connections and partnerships. Quality backlinks signal to search engines that your content is trustworthy and authoritative. By securing backlinks from reputable local sources, such as automotive blogs or local directories, you can strengthen your SEO and enhance your online presence.

What is technical SEO and is it essential for car dealers?

Technical SEO involves optimizing site speed, crawlability, and other backend elements. While it's crucial for ensuring optimal website performance, car dealers might consider hiring experts if it seems challenging or too technical to handle in-house.

SEO for Car Dealers: 8 Easy Tips to Increase Online Leads

This is an article written by:

Oskar is highly driven and dedicated to his editorial SEO role. With a passion for AI and SEO, he excels in creating and optimizing content for top rankings, ensuring content excellence at SEO.AI.